Your go to WGG horror aficionado, Dr. Bob is back with yet another horror movie review and this time I will be donning my clogs, dripping melted chocolate over my chest, and entering myself into a rich people’s insane asylum in the Swiss countryside with A Cure For Wellness.
As the title proclaims, A Cure For Wellness is what seems to me as the illegitimate child birthed forth from when a Mommy (Shutter Island) loves a Daddy (Get Out) so much they do sex and a beautifully deformed eel baby is born (A Cure For Wellness). Lockhart is a young and hungry businessman who is forced to extract the head of his bigwig Wall Street company from a remote rehabilitation center on the cuffs of the Swiss Alps. If you’re a geriatric millionaire who is so worn down from the stresses of the modern world, what would be more appealing then attending a get away camp in the Swiss Alps where the treatments involve deep tissue massages, aggressive hydrotherapy, and forced implantation of 300 year old Swiss eels into your digestive system? I think I’d settle for an early retirement on a secluded beach far away from humanity and any crazed Imhotep mummy doctors. Fuck Tom Cruise, and Fuck The New Mummy Reboot. Brendan Fraser or Bust Universal!!! Excuse me. I got a little carried away there. Anyway Lockhardt makes his way to the rehab facility and in a similar vain to Shutter Island, many subtle horrific details start to surface over the 2+ hour slow burn.
A Cure For Wellness is in my mind a mystery thriller, where the viewer is required to analyze every detail laid out before them, trying to piece together the hidden mysteries of the facility, the “patients”, and the doctor running it. Why is there a teenage Shelly Duvall from The Shining strutting around the facility while the average age of the hospital is estimated to be around 132 years old? Why do the citizens of the village below hate the patients from atop the hillside so much? Why am I seeing so many old naked people? Most of these questions get answered…however I still never found out why the images of 80 year old naked people are now burned into my skull. As the story unfolds, in a fashion similar to Get Out (which came out one week after this movie), the protagonist realizes…maybe I need to get the fuck out of this place before some seriously fucked up shit happens to me. It takes a good 2/3rds of the movie until we get here, but once we arrive, the shell of the facility really begins to crack and we find out what is really going on and how fucked up these treatments really get. The movie really picks up in the last 20 minutes or so, and that is when the majority of those puzzle pieces you have been collecting throughout the majority of the movie start to come together. Without any spoilers of course, the conclusion is satisfying and well delivered.
The setting is beautiful on the mountainside of the Swiss Alps, and yet still hides a morose, dark underbelly that we finally seen surface later on in the film. The acting is honestly pretty amazing, and one of the biggest take aways I’ve found with A Cure For Wellness. Dane Deehan and Mia Goth portray their characters amicably, but it is Jason Isaacs who really kills it as Dr. Volmer. The story is laid out in long form, slow burn fashion with the thrills flowing fluidly, and some really unsettling torture/treatments being thrown in towards the ends. The mystery of the facility and the doctor is manageable, even though I found myself reaching most of the conclusions about half way through the movie, and the culmination at the end is a solid wrap up to the questions put forth throughout. If you are into thought provoking mystery thrillers, then I would certainly suggest checking out A Cure For Wellness.
A Cure For Wellness
3.5 Eel Martinis out of 5